Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oil Follies

Even though I personally thought Obama's address about the Gulf oil spill didn't have the impact it could have, it seems to have been a turning point in many ways.

Meeting w/ BP's executives yesterday, the President negotiated beneficial terms like the $20 billion escrow account for cleanup & the $100 million fund for unemployed oil workers. This is one positive development in what's going to be a long process.

"BP agrees to $20 billion fund for spill costs"

Like many people have said, the oil spill should have been treated with a much greater sense of urgency earlier on. It's crazy that there's no contingency plans for disasters like this, from either the private sector or the government. I give people like Anderson Cooper credit for trying to highlight the seriousness of the situation by staying in the Gulf and showing the devastation firsthand.

Today BP CEO Tony Hayward went before a Congress committee to get deservedly drilled & berated by elected officials (who are slightly less corrupt than oil executives). There's a good chance that criminal charges will surface at some point, but for now official reprimand, public disdain, & financial liability are BP main sources of retribution. They should & may be found responsible for much more.

However, one Senator today didn't see it that way, & came to the defense of BP. The GOP have become known for being loyal Big Oil lackeys, but lizard-faced hick Sen. Joe Barton (R-TX) took it to a despicable new level during the hearing. He actually apologized for what he called the "tragedy" of the White House's "shakedown" of BP for the $20 billion dollar fund. Watching this jackass clarifies the definition of crooked stupidity:

Of course, the media was instantly all over this glaring display of corporate cronyism. I was just watching The Daily Show rip this fool apart. Good ol' boy Barton was just taking his cues from other Republican knuckleheads, like Rush Limbaugh & Michelle Bachmann. Today's clue to tell if someone is a right-wing dittohead - they refer to the BP escrow account as a "shakedown" or "slush fund". This idiotic cabal of so-called conservative leaders have finally opposed the President on an issue that's almost impossible to criticize, thereby showing their complete inability to reason or build a consensus.


The GOP is continuing to act against America's best interest in other deplorable ways to support their Big Oil sugar daddies, too. I am an Independent and have my problems with the Democrats, but anyone who says there is no difference between the political parties is kidding themselves.


The other night, John Stewart also provided an amazing history lesson regarding America's dependence on oil & the rhetoric about freeing ourselves from it, used by every President since Nixon. Even for someone who follows politics and history closely like myself, it was an eye-opener. Despite the Internet & modern media, we still have cultural amnesia and lack of historical context, even for the biggest issues. It's tough to think that even a transformational figure like Obama can muster the national will to attack such an ingrained & all-encompassing problem.

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